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To Degree or not to Degree!

April 17th, 2013

I thought I’d touch on the subject of degrees. It is one of the questions we get asked the most – ‘Do I need a degree to be a writer?’ Most people think you have to be an expert in something, or be highly educated to be a writer. Well, you don’t! In fact, some of the most successful writers in history did not only not have degrees, some didn’t even have a formal education.

Take Gore Vidal for instance. He learnt all he needed to know about great writing from reading great writing and trying to emulate it. And think about some of the great female writers, such as Jane Austin, who succeeded in writing despite writing her book years before formal education for women was even introduced!

Other famous writers without degrees might surprise you. For instance Agatha Christie, who we all know as a world-side bestselling author, was home schooled, learning mainly history and arithmetic. She then attended a finishing school where she was taught French and German. However, what her mother did do was to encourage the young Christie to read as much as possible. It obviously did the trick!

John Steinbeck, who wrote ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘East of Eden’ went to Stamford University but dropped out before finishing it and Jack London, ‘White Fang’ and ‘Call of the Wild’, was a high-school drop-out. He did, eventually, go back and complete high school and even went on to college, but dropped out again after one semester.

So, it’s clear from these examples that having a degree is really not a pre-requisite to being a super successful, bestselling author. What you do need bags of, however, is the perseverance to keep going despite the set-backs that you’ll almost certainly bump into along the way. There are some other traits that’ll help too, but that’s a whole other article!

Do I have the qualities needed to be a published writer?

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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